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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the only issue I have with my dog. She's not a rescue, and she's still a puppy, essentially. I have no problems with other areas of obedience ("come, "sit," "down," "off"), but still, she seems to enjoy taking my entire forearm or my feet into her mouth. I admit, she doesn't hurt me, and it seems to be more play than aggression, but the nips are still a little bit painful. My husband has been able to curb her biting of HIM, because he has a scary voice, but sadly, mine is of a weaker quality, so I am not in any way intimidating.

I've tried grabbing her mouth with my hands when she bites (trying hard to do it right as she's doing it, since I know timing is of essence...right?) and telling her, "NO biting!"

However, she still thinks it's fun. I won't hit her...I've tried to poke her with my fingers on her neck when she does it, with no luck. I just really, really would rather not whack her.

Is this something that she'll grow out of? We've refrained from teaching her the Tug game, and we don't play games with her that involve biting. We curb any games with her at all if the teeth come out and make her lie down for a while--usually in the kennel.

I've thought about the dynamics of our house, if maybe she views me as a weaker person, and it's possible, but I can't explain why she and I have a good bond in every other way of Leader/Follower except in this one instance. My husband also has a good relationship with her in which he is always the leader, and she obeys him without question.
 

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Are or have you been thru any obedience training?
 

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I think the best thing you can do is Say NO!!!! and then Stop exposing your hands to her. Puppies sometimes think hands are toys...I mean to them a hand flying around and moving about and touching then and then not touching them is like a toy that teases alot. I would avoid using your hands around her if she gets like that.
you can also teach "settle" when she gets too rambuncious and starts nipping etc...you can firmly rest her so she is laying on her side and put one hand gently holding her head down and one hand holding her hips down and tell her "settle" until she stops moving. and only when she is calm and stops fidgeting can you release her. then maybe give her a bone or actual toy to play with again avoiding exposure of hands.

when she bites your hand...the natural reaction is to pull back fast to get it away...but I think if she is going after your hands try your best to move them slowly as to not to tempt her more.

also dont allow her to jump. so maybe do "settle" when she tries to jump on you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, we have not. My husband's mother's German Shepard has been through extensive, successful training with my MIL, so we've been getting tons of tips from her. She has been working with Ari often, as well. I haven't been sure if it was worth the money/effort if Ari has been doing well in every other area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the best thing you can do is Say NO!!!! and then Stop exposing your hands to her. Puppies sometimes think hands are toys...I mean to them a hand flying around and moving about and touching then and then not touching them is like a toy that teases alot. I would avoid using your hands around her if she gets like that.
you can also teach "settle" when she gets too rambuncious and starts nipping etc...you can firmly rest her so she is laying on her side and put one hand gently holding her head down and one hand holding her hips down and tell her "settle" until she stops moving. and only when she is calm and stops fidgeting can you release her. then maybe give her a bone or actual toy to play with again avoiding exposure of hands.

when she bites your hand...the natural reaction is to pull back fast to get it away...but I think if she is going after your hands try your best to move them slowly as to not to tempt her more.

also dont allow her to jump. so maybe do "settle" when she tries to jump on you.

I've never heard the "settle" command. Do you ever use the training tool of "no" with the command? As in, you first say the command, like "sit" or "settle" and if they don't do it right away, you repeat, only this time saying, "NO, settle" over and over again until she does it?

I am going to try this. I really feel quite fortunate that she's teachable, but I've been very frustrated in why the training tools I've been using for the biting/nipping weren't working. Bah!
 

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yeah you can say NO! and then put her in her "settle" position if she doesnt listen to "No!" ....if she continues to fidget while in her settle position you can say no just try not to over do it and just continue holding her there. Eventually they give up and get the idea.
 

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She is a puppy, and as such, she wants and needs to play. She also needs to chew, it's what dogs do. You should play tug with her, you should let her have toys to chew on, etc. What you should not do is let her chew on humans. She needs to chew. So she needs to learn what she is allowed to chew on and what she is not, instead of trying to deprive her of chewin at all. When you play tug, teach her to let go when you say so. If she won't, play the game with two toys and throw the second one for her, she has to let go of the first one to get it. Then add a release command with it, and eventually she will get it.

For grabbing your arm or feet, shriek as loudly as you can, in as high pitched a voice as you can manage, as if she is torturing you. This should make her startle and relase, if only for a second. Have an appropriate chew toy ready so that when she release you can immediately give her toy in place of your body part.

Telling her no as a correction when she doesn't understand what it is she is supposed to do usually doesn't work well. She nees to know what it *is* that you *do* want her to do first, before she can learn what the "no" correction oeans. Also, the word no isn't a very good correction sound as it doesn't seem to have much interruption value to a dog. A sharp "AAAACH" sound seems to work better. But you shouldn't need to get to that yet. First teach her TO play the way you want her to. She should never be "whacked", that is unneccessary and unfair to the puppy. She is only playing and doesn't understand it's in appropriate.
 

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I agree with micdobe completly. Play her out of the habit. Your husband has obviously taught her the rules that he will deal with her on, now its your turn. Good luck. Pick a toy you like. You will have to play with it for a long time hopefully.
 

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Any time Mensa chewed on something she wasn't supposed to, whether it was her bed or my hand, I would replace it with something she could chew on. It seemed to work.
 

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We are having the same problem with Petey and he is 7 months old....well not "we" hubby and I don't have any problems, it is my 4 teenage sons that allow Petey to play that way and then suddenly....don't like it when they are trying to do something else or nap on the couch. I really come down hard on the kids now...they have to be 100% consistent with Petey or nothing works. We also use 2 minute time outs in the crate when he won't settle down and stop, they work. He hates being put in the crate when people are at home, so he usually stops the behavior. It is hard work to deal with this in the positive right way...but I know it will be worth it.

Carol
 

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I taught King by letting out a high pitched "YIP!" like another dog would do if hurt. After the yip, he got a 30 second time out. After a few days he started understanding that putting his teeth on people isn't ok, and after about a month i didn't even have to look like the crazy guy yelling "YIP!" at his dog anymore. I started from the day i got him though.
 

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I've tried grabbing her mouth with my hands when she bites (trying hard to do it right as she's doing it, since I know timing is of essence...right?) and telling her, "NO biting!"

However, she still thinks it's fun.
You grabbing her mouth is touching her. Touching her is praise. You are giving her a mixed message. Saying no but praising her with touch.


I've tried to poke her with my fingers on her neck when she does it, with no luck.
Which means what to her? If you poked me inthe neck with your fingers, I'd have no idea what that means. I would assume you've done no teaching for her to learn that poking her in the neck is some kind of signal from you to mean "no"? Again, you're touching her and in her mind offering some kind of praise, or making it some kind of game. I bite you, you poke me. That sounds like fun to a puppy.

You didn't mention the age of the puppy, or I missed it.

I would try micdobe's techniques. But if she were somewhat older, I might make sure she is leashed in the house and use the leash to give her a minor correction and say no. That, at least, gets your hands off her.
 

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We are having the same problem with Petey and he is 7 months old....well not "we" hubby and I don't have any problems, it is my 4 teenage sons that allow Petey to play that way and then suddenly....don't like it when they are trying to do something else or nap on the couch. I really come down hard on the kids now...they have to be 100% consistent with Petey or nothing works. We also use 2 minute time outs in the crate when he won't settle down and stop, they work. He hates being put in the crate when people are at home, so he usually stops the behavior. It is hard work to deal with this in the positive right way...but I know it will be worth it.

Carol
Carol really has it right. Consistency is everything with both kids and dogs. And what they are using to quiet Petey down will quiet your dog down as well.

By the way--the mouthing of you has nothing to do with your puppys perception of you as the weaker partner. It has much more to do with the fact that I'd be willing to bet you've let her mouth you and only stopped her if it reached a point where it hurt.

Be consistent. Don't let her mouth you, your hands, your arms, your clothing or any other part of you. Say no every time and stop interacting with her. If she persists put her in her crate for a time out.

While you are working on the No command, teach her a sit, a down and a stand--do it on leash so that she obeys every time. Then when she mouths you have her sit or stand or down until she settles down. But for this to be effective you'll have to keep at least a tab on her collar or a leash.

I hate being mouthed--and I hate even more having dogs think they can bite, nip or pinch me. I stop it early--by judicious use of NO!!! and time outs. But I NEVER, EVER let the puppies mouth me. I hand them a toy and get up and leave the area but I don't continue to interact with them if they are abusing me--and that's what the nipping, chewing, biting and mouthing is.
 

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Micdobe is dead on with the shrieking. Thats how other puppies let the others know when they are biting or playing to hard. The pup will want the play to continue and will adjust their behavior inorder to continue. Forgive me ladies for this next statement, but shrieking like a little school girl will startle the pup and they will stop what they are doing. By looking away and not paying attention to the pup will help establish that you do not approve of this. They want the play to continue. This will start to establish the boundaries of what you want the play to be like. And yes, I got the shrieking little scholl girl sound down to a T.
 

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OUCH!!! works great just like Microdobe and Kratty have said. My Dad used the word "EASY" and my sister uses "CHILL" I like OUCH the best since that's what you are feeling. They need to understand that they are hurting you.
 

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Micdobe is dead on with the shrieking. Thats how other puppies let the others know when they are biting or playing to hard. The pup will want the play to continue and will adjust their behavior inorder to continue. Forgive me ladies for this next statement, but shrieking like a little school girl will startle the pup and they will stop what they are doing. By looking away and not paying attention to the pup will help establish that you do not approve of this. They want the play to continue. This will start to establish the boundaries of what you want the play to be like. And yes, I got the shrieking little scholl girl sound down to a T.
Looking away works for a lot of things. I had never heard of anyone else doing it. I thought it was my secret language. When I am trying to work and GKar is bugging me to play I will turn my face away and kind of bow my head and he goes and plays with himself or lies down with a groan. It makes for a quite house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh wow, awesome! I had read Cesar Millan's book back in the early days of Ari's life with us, and he recommended the poke in the neck, or claw, as he calls it, to make it feel like her mother's bite.

I've currently got her on the leash in the house, attached to my belt so that when I walk around, I can keep her under control.

Basically, what everyone has said to me is to shriek the moment she mouths me (whether it hurts or not?), immediately give her another toy to chew on, and turn my attention elsewhere. Also, 2-minute time-outs. She has down, sit and stand down pat, so I'll try incorporating that into her training not to bite.

Thank you!
 

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I had read Cesar Millan's book back in the early days of Ari's life with us, and he recommended the poke in the neck, or claw, as he calls it, to make it feel like her mother's bite.
I just saw that technique on an episode of the Dog Whisperer tonight and was going to mention it (I guess great minds think alike :)). Seems like it worked for him, but then again, everything seems to work for him...LOL.
 

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Basically, what everyone has said to me is to shriek the moment she mouths me (whether it hurts or not?), immediately give her another toy to chew on, and turn my attention elsewhere. Also, 2-minute time-outs. She has down, sit and stand down pat, so I'll try incorporating that into her training not to bite.
If her teeth touch your skin, shriek. It worked wonders for us. I only had to say a high-pitched ouch!. For my wife, a more effective approach was to scream bloody murder then like Molari said, look away and stop the game for awhile.
 

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Looking away works for a lot of things. I had never heard of anyone else doing it. I thought it was my secret language. When I am trying to work and GKar is bugging me to play I will turn my face away and kind of bow my head and he goes and plays with himself or lies down with a groan. It makes for a quite house.
I use the looking away technique a lot. The book I recommend to people is:
"The Other End of The Leash" by Patricia B. McConnell, PH.D.

It is just a really good book on dog behavior and can really help with training once you understand where they are coming from somewhat.

I also use the shreak, and replace my body part with a toy - it does work!
 
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